Eerie Wanda, “Pet Town”

Eerie Wanda
Pet Town
JOYFUL NOISE
7/10

Self-imposed isolation in the name of creativity isn’t for just anyone. One slip-up—one episode too many of a TV show—and you’ve fallen victim to inertia. But Marina Tadic, the driving artistic force behind the band Eerie Wanda, isn’t just anyone.

Tadic wrote the songs on Pet Town, Eerie Wanda’s second album (and first for Joyful Noise), on her own, during a period in which she says she felt quite alone. Then, Tadic and her two bandmates—who all live in different areas of the Netherlands—recorded their parts separately, on purpose, assembling them remotely to create the finished product and amplify the state of mind Tadic was in when she first wrote the material.

The solitude of the writing and recording of Pet Town is reflected in the production. Much of the album sounds like echoes in an empty room, with percussion provided by hand claps and a drum machine. The guitars are minimal and acoustic, and the vocals reverberate in the open space of each song. But this doesn’t mean the songs are simplistic. The opening track, “Pet Town,” is composed of a few different layers, kicking off with Tadic singing “I walk alone again / The streets, they have a friend” over a bouncy bass line and finger snaps, building itself expertly from there on the strength of her songwriting.

Tadic knows something about filling up a space you don’t necessarily want to be in. During the war in Bosnia in the early ’90s, when she was six years old, her Croatian family was forced to leave what was then Yugoslavia to seek asylum in the Netherlands, where she grew up and began creating art and music. When it comes to making bleak situations a little better, Tadic is an expert, and Pet Town is a series of upbeat reflections on isolation from a friendly stranger who’s been in her fair share of strange lands.

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